When Relix magazine announced the The Contribution’s debut record, Which Way World (2010), and called them a “jamband supergroup,” they also recognized, “the band serves the songs first and foremost.” Although the band is comprised of some of the scene’s heavy hitters, the first listen to their music reveals their love of 60s pop and soul coupled with their ability to flat-out shred. It’s is what makes the band appealing to music lovers from all walks of life. In 2017 the band released seven tracks from their upcoming LoHi Records album, Wilderness and Space, with full proceeds from each single going to a different non-profit organization.
The Contribution is the brainchild of Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth (violin, guitar, vocals) together with Phil Ferlino (keyboards, vocals) and Jeff Miller (guitar, vocals) of New Monsoon. Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), has been the bass player from the band’s inception along with vocalist Sheryl Renee (The Black Swan Singers). The drum chair was previously occupied by Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra), and currently Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic) who both appear on the band’s new record.
The first song was released in February, 2017 with all proceeds donated to Rex Foundation. Consecutive songs came out monthly, each paired with unique artwork and all proceeds benefitting a different non-profit partner. Others taking part include Conscious Alliance, HeadCount, and a handful of other organizations that support the arts, environment, and health. The full ten-song album will come out on vinyl this Spring.
Releasing records and touring is a cycle that is a part of each member’s individual careers. Initially conceived as a studio project that would play select live shows, the emphasis for The Contribution was always on writing and recording. Rather than releasing a full record with expectations of touring to support it, Carbone wanted to find a way to live up to the band’s name and this is what they cooked up to keep going and give back in the process.
How could the creation of music be leveraged for the betterment of the world at large? A lofty goal. The band has never been about personal profit and individually the members have been advocates and activists for various environmental and social causes. Now they have thought of a way to meld the two worlds the band holds dear. They are The Contribution, after all. Carbone says, “We feel blessed to be able to make this music and have it help people in need… and we would like to empower those who share our passion and provide a resource for them to take action with us.”
Wilderness and Space will be released on LoHi Records, of which Carbone is one of the partners along with singer/songwriter and record producer Todd Snider, Hard Working Americans’ Chad Staehly, who is also with Gold Mountain Entertainment in Nashville, and entrepreneur and marketing veteran Jim Brooks. All songs written and produced by Tim Carbone, Phil Ferlino and Jeff Miller.